Royal Caribbean is now advertising that it is hiring lifeguards on its cruise ships. The cruise line posted the availability of the lifeguard position as of December 21, 2016.
The posting (below) indicates that the lifeguard "will need to perform rescue of Guests in danger of drowning and be vigilant to potential accidents. Will be trained to administer first aid, CPR, Oxygen & AED as required. This position will open, close, monitor and operate aquatic recreational spaces including but not limited to Swimming Pools, H2O Zones / Splashaway Bay and other designated water attractions . . . "
This reflects a change of position with this cruise line which previously did not employ lifeguards on its cruise ships.
Like other cruise lines, Royal Caribbean has seen several children drown or nearly drown on its cruise ships. An 8 year old child died in a June 30, 2016 incident aboard the Anthem of the Seas, after he was found unresponsive in a pool.
The cruise line has now apparently reconsidered its policy of only posting “swim at your own risk” signs and providing life jackets for children.
Last December, another eight year old child drowned in an unattended swimming pool on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas. The child was pulled unconscious from one of the cruise ship’s pools by a passenger.
In January last year, a 4 year old boy nearly drowning aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas on January 3, 2015. The Miami Herald published Near-Drowning on Royal Caribbean Cruise Raises Concerns About Lack of Lifeguards after that incident. In May 2014, a 6 year old boy nearly drown on the Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas and left the child fighting for his life in a hospital.
Lifeguard are also needed for adults who have been known to drown or nearly drown while cruising with this cruise line and others.
Last year, in an article titled Cruise Ships Are Unregulated Trouble on the High Seas, the New York Times wrote that Congress exempted cruise ships from virtually all regulations. The Times characterized the last death of a child in a pool without a lifeguard as a problem with letting cruise lines regulate themselves.
Most cruise lines, with the exception of Disney Cruises, do not employ lifeguards on their ships. Many passengers believe that it is solely the obligation of parents to supervise their children. My thought is that children are best protected from drowning only through a combination of well trained lifeguards and attentive parents working together to keep kids on the ships safe.
December 24, 2016 Update:
Miami New Times Miami-Based Royal Caribbean to Add Lifeguards on Cruises.